Apple and its stupid culture of secret numbers

Pomme d’avis is the section in which the editorial staff of MacGeneration shares its point of view on Apple news. Today, Christophe’s rant about the opacity of Apple’s figures.

The figure slaps: since the launch of Apple Podcasts subscriptions in June 2021, the number of subscribers has increased by 300%. Champagne! This fabulous and well-rounded figure, officially given by Apple, has the merit of recalling the existence of this service – launched in pain – among users of the Podcasts app, but also creators in search of profitability.

Except that Apple gives no details on the number of actual subscribers. Without this base, we will quickly recap the champagne because it’s not quite the same thing to start from 5 subscribers or 15 million… It’s a bit as if your kid was telling you all proud: ” Say Dad, you saw my average in maths increased by 300%, it’s great isn’t it? “. If the original average was 1 out of 20, the “super” scale will have to be revised downwards.

These arrangements with the truth are not the prerogative of Apple: Amazon uses and abuses them, but it’s a classic in the world of big tech companies. This explains in passing the profusion of analysts with little feet and wet fingers who can afford to tell anything and everything: after all, the eccentric figures given by the manufacturers are fertile ground for the charlatans of the ball of crystal.

A “Bezos Chart”. Image : @Jason Snell

Apple, already particularly versed in the culture of secrecy, had no trouble locking communication around the figures of its services. The case of podcast subscriptions is not isolated! As of June 2019, the only official figure for the number of Apple Music subscribers has been frozen at 60 million. We can easily imagine that the second largest streaming service has continued to recruit additional pairs of ears since, but in fact… maybe not, since we completely ignore it.


Leave a Comment